Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
BLOOMINGTON — A proposal for McLean County's next wind farm still is on track — but with some minor changes.
The DeWitt County Land Use Committee sent all of the proposed restrictions to the full county board for further discussion during their January 18 meeting.
Members of the public on Monday night urged Ford County Board members to consider, among other measures, the need to increase the minimum distance that wind turbines can be located from homes.
For the second time in a month, the Ford County Board voted Monday night to place a moratorium on granting any future wind farm permits until the county’s permitting ordinance is reviewed. Last month’s vote was taken without the specific action listed on the agenda for the meeting, so it was deemed invalid. But this time, the measure is legally binding.
Steve Faivre (D-4), Planning and Zoning committee chairman, said the moratorium applies to the wind turbines themselves, as well as solar panels used to generate commercial energy, not the testing towers. "The testing just gives EDF the information as to whether or not it would be commercially viable to do that from a wind standpoint," Faivre said.
The DeKalb County Board unanimously approved a moratorium Wednesday on developing wind and solar farms for 18 months or until a sustainable energy ordinance is passed.
The DeKalb County Planning and Zoning Committee agreed Wednesday to hold a second public hearing on whether to build two 200-foot-tall wind testing towers after the first hearing was criticized for being held in too small a venue and not giving enough public notice. ...The moratorium is expected to be heard at the next County Board meeting March 15.
When the board meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, it will consider approving a policy mandating specific setbacks, turbine heights, decommissioning requirements and wildlife impact studies for future wind projects.
In a letter sent to residents who agreed to lease farmland for wind turbines, Chicago-based Mainstream Renewable Power says a more-restrictive county ordinance approved last year makes it too difficult to move forward with the six-year project.
The policy is intended to replace a vague ordinance, and “many of the things in our proposed text were imposed by the Zoning Board in previous special use permits," said Anna Ziegler, assistant manager at the McLean County Farm Bureau — which helped draft the rules.
Currently, its setback distance for wind turbines is at least 1,200 feet from homes. La Salle County's is the same. In Livingston County, officials are considering raising the setback to 1,600 feet. Some in the county's southern part are looking to increase it to 4,000. At nearly a mile, such a distance might effectively shut out wind farm development.
In an attempt to push the company into action, the committee hired an independent firm, Patrick Engineering, in November 2015 to do a cost study and write a decommissioning plan. The action is allowed under the special use permit with Minonk LLC paying the cost of the study. A copy of the report, which indicated the security deposit should be $15,135,851, was sent to Minonk Wind Farm LLC, which did not respond.
County Board OKs project with 12 stipulations/conditions
Despite a recommendation of denial of all 127 conditional use permits by the Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) last month, the county board approved all but nine permits on Tuesday.
The county board will now have the final say in whether or not to grant the 127 conditional use permits for the wind farm project. ...the board has been known to vote against recommendations given by the planning commission and the zoning board of appeals.
When wind energy development first darkened the door of Bureau County several years ago, there really wasn’t that much information available as to the adverse side effects these projects brought with them. That is no longer the case. The horror stories that used to be happening somewhere else are now being experienced on a daily basis by our very own citizens and residents of Bureau County. The elected officials that brought us the first wind development claimed, and rightfully so, “We didn’t know.” The time has now come for this county board to stand up.
The ZBA explicitly found the standards for granting the permits had not been met and to the contrary, the turbines “would be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, moral, comfort, or general welfare.” Further, the turbines “would be injurious to the use and enjoyment of those who own property in the footprint of the project and would have a negative impact on their property values” and “will impede the normal and orderly development of the surrounding property.”
After nearly a year of public hearings, the Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals last week made a recommendation to the Bureau County Board to deny conditional use permits for the proposed Walnut Ridge Wind Farm. ...the zoning board of appeals also recommended denial of an extension request of the 2008 conditional uses permits that were previously extended in 2011 and requested again in 2014.
The Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals is recommending the Bureau County board turn down all conditional-use permits for the proposed Walnut Ridge LLC wind farm. The recommendation came after a public hearing Wednesday night.
After nine months of testimony and cross examination, and supportive votes cast by the ZBA, the full county board met and PASSED the following with a 9 to 3 margin: All wind turbines must be placed at a minimum of 2640 feet from a PROPERTY LINE.